Much like a blind date, a studio’s first impression can make a big impact on how you walk away feeling about the overall experience. And in an increasingly competitive industry, brands are being as mindful when it comes to the interior design of their spaces as they are the workouts being offered inside of them.
That could mean luxe shower products in the locker rooms like at Barry’s Bootcamp. Or, incorporating art, which is what SoulCycle did when it opened a new studio in midtown Manhattan in 2017. “More than 20 orbs were positioned throughout [the lobby], and riders were encouraged to place their hands on [their] surfaces to see a ‘reflection of their soul’ based on the colors and vibrations that show through,” says Alan Cooke, SoulCycle’s vice president of design, who added that a new lobby experience is coming soon.
Just like the future of fitness is digital, the future of brick-and-mortar studios will likely be, too.
If studios are already paying this much attention to detail today, what’s next? That’s a question I posed to Shelly Lynch-Sparks, founder of Hyphen, an interior design firm that’s worked with clients including MNDFL meditation studio in New York City, Hit House (a new Muay Thai boxing studio in Manhattan), and Classpass’ HQ. Just like the future of fitness is digital, the future of brick-and-mortar studios will likely be, too.
“We’re constantly thinking of ways we can design for tech,” says Lynch-Sparks. When working on the interior Hit House, she says she was “adamant” about easy connectivity with outlets and USBs. “I hate not having all the things I want right in front of me when I’m in a workout space,” she says.
Other design elements to (potentially) be on the lookout for—if not now, soon: blissfully fast and orderly check-in processes, truly high-tech experiences, and custom-scented locker rooms. (Yes, seriously.)
Here are 6 more predictions from design pros about the fitness studio experience of the future.
1. Personalized lockersNo longer are lockers being looked at as smelly caverns to store your stuff during a sweat sesh. Michael Bordes is the president of Jedson Company, a construction firm that’s worked with buzzy NYC studios such as Rumble, SLT, Pop Physique, and Bari Studio. And he tells me that he’s recently seen an uptick in such clients requesting “more upscale locker rooms and bathrooms that are scented. It’s similar to what some hotels with signature scents are doing; the scent is generated [through the ducts] into the ambient air.” So, not only will you be buying into a studio’s signature workout, but perhaps its signature scent, too, as brands invest even more into selling a lifestyle—not just a class.
Oh, and having to pay for a lock because you forgot yours (or having to remember your four-digit combo after a particularly blissful yoga class) might soon be a thing of the past, as well. “With digital lockers, people forget their code and get locked out, which is problematic, but I think [soon] it could be your thumbprint, or some part of your body, instead of your code” says Lynch-Sparks. “I’m not sure how far out that will be, but it could be soon, considering we already have it on the iPhone.”
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The man responded by asking him, “What are you going do?” to which Michael replied by saying he would do anything, and that he just wanted to work. He went to work that weekend, leaving the house early in the morning to work a job in Riverdale, NY with a truck full of men. He had no money, no gloves, no lunch, no skill; just a wanted to work. His job for the day was to mix mortar and bring that mortar to the masons.
Noticing how unprepared he was, one of the older men working with Michael gave him a pair of their gloves. At the end of the day, he mixed so much concrete that he had blisters on hands. That day, he drank water from a garden hose throughout the day and ate food scraps from the guys he was working with. This was another lesson learned that made him realize how determined he was to be successful and to make something of himself.
By his senior year in high school, while the majority of the other teens his age was partying or preparing for college, Michael was preparing for the rest of his life. He started a painting, plastering, and ceramic tile business, and by the time he finished his senior year of high school, he had 6 employees working for him. One day, Michael was taking a dip in his backyard pool while his employees were working. His father, a NYC fireman, came home in the afternoon and saw him sitting in the pool before he went in the house. He came up to him and question what he was doing and why he wasn’t working. He was so angry that he restricted Michael from ever swimming in the pool again. This predicament set the tone for Michaels work ethic and the rest of his life, molding him into the businessman he is today. From that day on, aside from further education, he worked 15-16 hours per day minimum, 7 days, every single week.
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It's an honor for Jedson Company, LLC to be included in the top 10 most Instagrammable gyms in the world. Check out Rumble and MNDFL studios below. For the full article, click here
Whether you’re boxing, cycling or doing yoga, here are the spaces to inspire your workout (and your social media feed)
Your body may be a temple, but if your gym is a hellhole where the walls drip with condensation and angels fear to tread (without picking up a verruca in the showers), you’re not living your best sweat life. Besides which, everybody knows that workouts don’t count unless you publicise them on social media.
Just like “healthy” coconut sugar and most fitness influencers’ credentials, this is, of course, a nonsense. You don’t need a fancy gym to get results. A utilitarian budget option will suffice, but the right environment can transform exercise from a necessary evil into something exalted – an “experience”, no less. Especially when you throw in free towels and hoity-toity toiletries.
To provide some divine #fitspiration, MR PORTER has supersetted some of the latest and slickest sweatboxes around the globe, so you can also make bare gains on Instagram.